TorrentSpy Says MPAA Can't Reinterpret The Supreme Court On File Sharing
from the try,-try-again dept
When the Supreme Court ruled in the Grokster case, they laid down a very specific case for when a service provider might be liable for the actions of its users. That was only if the service provider took “affirmative steps” to induce copyright violations. This seemed odd and likely to cause trouble pretty quickly. It basically suggested that a new company that came along and did exactly what Grokster had done, but avoided proactively encouraging people to download unauthorized material, would be perfectly fine. However, the entertainment industry immediately tried to expand what the decision meant and eventually just pretended the Supreme Court said that file sharing and things like torrent tracking sites were illegal — when it actually said nothing of the sort. The MPAA recently went after a bunch of BitTorrent search engines — which seemed to stretch the Supreme Court ruling again. After all, these are just search engines, and there are tons of legitimate uses for them. At least one is now fighting back. TorrentSpy has filed a motion to dismiss the case, noting that they don’t promote any kind of infringement and they don’t host or link directly to any files copyrighted by the MPAA. In other words, they’re making a case that all they are is a search engine for torrents, and if the industry is worried about people putting up torrents that infringe on copyrights, it should go after those actually responsible, rather than the search engines. Services like TorrentSpy were exactly what it looked like the Supreme Court was trying to carve out as being legitimate — so it’s good to see them standing up for themselves, rather than just giving in to another entertainment industry lawsuit. If they win and get the case dismissed, it could set up some of the boundaries as to just how far the entertainment industry can go.